Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have always believed that centrifuged honey is inferior to pressed honey due to oxidation and destruction of the natural VOCs in it.
Essentially, the process of conventional extraction ruins the honey (am yet to find a good side-by-side scientific grade comparison - unsure why no one cares to do it; I did look).

Here is a relevant google-translated quote from one of the patents I looked at:

Honey separators implementing the described method are divided into chordal and radial.

When honey is pumped out in these honey extractors, honey is sprayed in the form of droplets onto the walls of the honey extractor in strong vortex air flows, which allows us to define this method as a harsh effect on a multi-component system, leading to an increase in the contact surface of distilled honey with air, loss of a significant part of volatile substances, and namely aromatic and volatile. Under the influence of air oxygen, many biologically active substances are inactivated. Honey is saturated with atmospheric oxygen, which contributes to the appearance of foci of crystallization, and, as a consequence, its subsequent early crystallization.
From here:
http://www.freepatent.ru/patents/2245029

And here is a proto-type honey extractor that addresses the issue of honey oxygen saturation by the conventional extractors.

The main feature - honey is not broken up into mini-droplets in the air and not oxygenated - instead the honey "slides off" the frames onto the wall of the fixture as a single stream; thus the honey surface area stays minimal and the oxygenation is also minimal.
And of course, the final harvested honey does not contain millions of mini-bubbles of trapped air - which cause the prolonged oxidation process.

Too bad, there is no auto-translate, but those willing, will see how it works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI-r_me6O-c

I'd like to make something similar using just standard materials (PVC food grade bucket and a drill).
Last year I already made a PVC extractor, but it works conventionally and does saturate the honey with air.
So if to compare the pressed honey and the conventionally extracted honey - the pressed honey wins (at the expense of the comb destruction, of course).

A good subject to kick about; maybe some good ideas will come up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
It would be interesting to see if the taste between traditional extracted honey tastes different than crush and strain (doesn't make the honey into droplets).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It would be interesting to see if the taste between traditional extracted honey tastes different than crush and strain (doesn't make the honey into droplets).
This is indeed so as for me.
I did both extractions last season.
My conventional honey I would describe as "pedestrian" and I don't even care to eat anymore it since I have a variety of pressed honey. Of course, the 2019 conventional honey is all solid now.

But try it for yourself.

Unsure I will do any conventional honey this summer; hate wasting the good product.
Will just keep the honey frames as-is until I get a new extractor working (or just C&S it as needed).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
It would be easy enough to fill a small extractor with C25 welding gas (25% CO2/75% Argon) for an experiment if one was so inclined.
I was thinking pure nitrogen might work well. N2 might be cheaper than argon. I think most extractors would collapse long before you pull a vacuum, and you will probably flash boils stuff out of the honey extracting it in a vacuum.

I wonder if you collected a air sample out of the extractor if you could have it sent somewhere and analyzed to see what you are loosing.

If you want to make something really interesting extract in a pressurized CO2 environment and make carbonated honey. I have no clue if this have ever been done, but extracting under a inert gas blanket made me think of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
Interesting thought - sounds reasonable.

For a laboratory experiment - load-up your extractor in a small enclosure, place some dry ice (solid CO2) on the floor, seal-up the enclosure with a small vent at the top. When the air has been displaced, extract and compare.

Or - the simpler version - divide your honey sample in half. Extract one half, and crush and strain the other. Subject those samples to comparative analysis.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
Joined
·
218 Posts
It would be interesting to see if the taste between traditional extracted honey tastes different than crush and strain
I have a Flow hive. My honey comes straight out of the comb with no centrifugation, nor exposed to air for long periods like crush/strain.

I cannot really tell the difference in taste. I made a blind taste between mine, and another beekeeper's who is close by and must have similar tasting honey. If anything his tasted somewhat sweeter probably because his bees were foraging on something different at the time.

Having said that my taste buds are not the most refined in the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,111 Posts
Why not compare to the "Gold Standard" - comb honey left capped? Crush it in your mouth for the very best flavor! It would be an interesting to develop a standard with methods to quantify quality. One should be able to quantify the differences in extraction methods.

Tasting is an interesting subject. I always find the first bit of crushed honey, licked off my finger "very tasty" or the very best honey when I start to de-cap. This is especially true for first-of-the-season honey.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,236 Posts
Prepared food to go places that seal the food use a 70% N2/30% CO2 mix to remove the oxygen. This mix is available at many welding supply stores, as is the 75/25 mix used for nitrogenated beers. It would be a simple matter to hook up a flow meter to a conventional extractor and provide a blanket of gas that would prevent oxidation. Truly inert gases such as Ar and He are really expensive comparatively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
I only mentioned C25 because it is what I have on hand. I use my welder to squirt some into cans of automotive epoxy paint to keep it fresh if I don't use the whole can. I'm sure N2/CO2 and maybe a few others would be even cheaper at the supply store.
 

·
Registered
Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
Joined
·
218 Posts
Tasting is an interesting subject. I always find the first bit of crushed honey, licked off my finger "very tasty"
Taste is very subjective. What may taste good in the morning may not taste as good in the evening. Some people have a more acute sense of taste than others. Very interesting subject indeed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,236 Posts
Steve, your mention of the C25 is what reminded me of the mix I used to make for food packaging. And yes, N2 is much cheaper than Argon. Six years ago, our bulk price for the N2 was about .005/# while Ar was around .065/#. We were selling the the H size bottles of the N2/CO2 for around $32 and the C25 gas for around $75 IIRC, for the same sized bottle.
Taste is very subjective. What may taste good in the morning may not taste as good in the evening.
And vice versa. What one found appealing in the evening, one might not find quite so appealing in the morning. Wait, we were talking about honey. My bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
You'd probably want to go with straight N2. CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid. That would change the pH of the system.

Every once in while some technical SCUBA diver will notice that CO2 is even better than Argon at blocking heat transmission and will use it instead of Argon to inflate their drysuit. Unfortunately while waiting for long minutes at decompression stops carbonic acid forms from skin moisture. The itching is said to be intense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Aside from wondering if some of this is marketing nonsense, I do know that some cider makers will use nitrogen and CO2 to bottle their wares. The reason is the gas bubbles are different sizes and this affects how the cider contacts ones taste buds, allowing a wider taste profile.

I'd think a mass spectrometer test on spun VS crushed would verify if VOC's are being "lost". Don't think my palette is that educated. I still like Schlitz beer. (if I could only find some)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,260 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Taste for sure is a subjective measure.
What is less subjective - actual VOC measurements.
That little amount of the VOCs and similar stuff in the honey makes all the difference (without the VOCs the honey is just a straight sweet syrup).
Testing of pressed honey vs. extracted honey vs. control (comb honey) would be a great thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Aside from wondering if some of this is marketing nonsense, I do know that some cider makers will use nitrogen and CO2 to bottle their wares. The reason is the gas bubbles are different sizes and this affects how the cider contacts ones taste buds, allowing a wider taste profile.
I know Guinness Uses nitrogen for carbonating their beer, and most other brands use CO2. I think the N2 creates smaller bubbles, and they flow differently thru the beer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
I wouldn't guess that 100% of the VOC's are removed/gas off during centrifugal extraction. I would expect a percentage based on each particular VOC. Some VOC's might be bonded to other molecules in the honey. (I guess that wouldn't make them a VOC by definition, it's a question of rate of off gassing) The oxidation mentioned might also be subjective. What in the honey oxidizes? I'm not saying this isn't a very interesting question, I just know that some of the words are "buzz" words used by advertisers. In wine or beer making, fusel alcohols are not desirable as they cause headaches. Some will eventually off gas but it might take a few years of aging.

A number of the VOC's are likely in the form of essential oils. Some organic oils will oxidize, maybe all of them given enough time. I do deal with organic oils in my business. If I don't move the oil out too customers in a matter of a number of weeks I have to pressurize the storage tanks with nitrogen to retard oxidation causing rancidity. That stuff is really bad.

Honey varieties, like wine, are obviously very complex. I may very well inquire about pollinating some local mint fields if I can verify that they are not spraying them with chemicals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,111 Posts
What do you think about storing honey in wine bags? Would it reduce aging? Certainly easier to handle in 5 liter corrugated boxes and recyclable.

Also, what's the impact of settling, maybe warmed-up settling in tanks? All VOC discussions should be related to all steps int he process of extraction and storage. Also thinking about curing honey is an open air process followed by capping. I would think that VOC outgassing is relative to vapor pressure as well as the chemical reaction with oxygen.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top